City Seal  

City of Red Bluff

Fire Department

555 Washington St. . Red Bluff, CA . (530)527-1126
FAX (530) 529-4768

Fire Prevention Division

Quick Links:

Public Education | Smoke AlarmsFire Extinguishers | Weed Abatement | Code Enforcement | Plans Review | Investigations |  Juvenile Fire Setter Program | Fees and Charges


The Fire Prevention Division's main purpose is to prevent life and property loss. This is accomplished through public education, public awareness, and code enforcement.

The Fire Prevention Division employs one full-time Fire Marshal.  The Fire Prevention Division’s hours of operation are from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Friday.

Daily tasks of the Fire Prevention Division are Code Enforcement, New and Existing Business Inspections, Plan-Checks & Reviews, Fire Investigations, Public Information, Public Safety Demonstrations.

The Fire Prevention Division works hand in hand with the Red Bluff Building Department to provide the best possible services in all areas of building construction and code enforcement. The goal is to provide a "One stop shopping" atmosphere, so that all your questions can be answered with one visit.

If you would like more information about the Fire Prevention Division, then please call:

Division Chief Matthew Shobash at (530) 527-1126



Public Education

The Red Bluff Fire Department realizes that one of the best ways to prevent a fire is through education. Through a variety of programs such as fire extinguisher training, school presentations, home safety education, workplace safety education, and many other special events, the department strives to reduce life and property loss.

Your business or organization can request a fire safety demonstration by calling the Red Bluff Fire Department. October is Fire Awareness Month.

  • School Presentations – Our on-duty personnel are happy to visit your class and discuss general fire safety and firefighter familiarization with your kids.  Please allow us a two week notice for scheduling.
  • Home Safety – Upon request of a homeowner, the Red Bluff Fire Department will visit the resident and provide valuable information and suggestions on how to make their home fire safe.
  • Workplace Safety – This class is for businesses.  Upon a request, the Fire Department can provide safety information or public demonstrations to staff and employees concerning safety in the workplace.  A fire extinguisher demonstration can also be provided.

Smoke Alarms

In the 1960's, the average U. S. citizen had never heard of a smoke alarm. By 1995, an estimated 93 percent of all American homes - single - and multi- family, apartments, nursing homes, dormitories, etc. - were equipped with alarms. By the mid 1980's, smoke alarm laws, requiring that alarms be placed in all new and existing residences - existed in 38 states and thousands of municipalities nationwide. And smoke alarm provisions have been adopted by all of the model building code organizations.

Fire services across the country have played a major and influential public education role in alerting the public to the benefits of smoke alarms. Another key factor in this huge and rapid penetration of both the marketplace and the builder community has been the development and marketing of low cost alarms by commercial companies. In the early 1970's, the cost of protecting a three bedroom home with professionally installed alarms was approximately $1,000; today the cost of owner-installed alarms in the same house has come down to as little as $10 per alarm, or less than $50 for the entire home. This cost structure, combined with effective public education (including key private-public partnerships), has caused a huge percentage of America's consumers, whether they are renting or buying, to demand smoke alarm protection. The impact of smoke alarms on fire safety and protection is dramatic and can be simply stated. When fire breaks out, the smoke alarm, functioning as an early warning system, reduces the risk of dying by nearly 50 percent. Alarms are most people's first line of defense against fire.

In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning signal to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape.

Why should my home have smoke alarms?

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are the single most important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal -- so you and your family can escape. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety features you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family and your home.

Okay, where do I put them?

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside the sleeping area.

Also, smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or 6 to 8 inches below the ceiling on side walls. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Where would I get smoke alarms?

Many hardware, home supply or general merchandise stores carry smoke alarms. Make sure the alarm you buy is UL-listed. If you are unsure where to buy one call the Red Bluff Fire Department at 527-1126 and we will provide you with some suggestions.

Are smoke alarms hard to install?

Not a bit. In most cases, all you will need is a screwdriver. Many brands are self-adhesive and will automatically stick to the wall or ceiling where they are placed. However, be sure to follow the directions from the manufacturer because each brand is different. If you are uncomfortable standing on a ladder, ask a relative or friend for help. Some fire departments will actually install a smoke alarm in your home for you. Call your local fire department (again, on a non-emergency telephone number) if you have problems installing a smoke alarm.

How do I keep my smoke alarms working?

Smoke alarms are very easy to take care of. There are two steps to remember.

  1. Simply replace the batteries at least once a year.
    Tip: Pick a holiday or your birthday and replace the batteries each year on that day. Some smoke alarms now on the market come with a ten-year battery. These alarms are designed to be replaced as a whole unit, thus avoiding the need for battery replacement. If your smoke alarm starts making a "chirping" noise, replace the batteries and reset it.
  2. Keep them clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation, so vacuum over and around your smoke alarm regularly.

What if the alarm goes off while I'm cooking?

Then it's doing its job. Do not disable your smoke alarm if it alarms due to cooking or other non-fire causes. You may not remember to put the batteries back in the alarm after cooking. Instead, clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place. The alarm may have to be moved to a new location.

How long will my smoke alarm last?

About eight to ten years, after which it should be replaced. Like most electrical devices, smoke alarms wear out. You may want to write the purchase date with a marker on the inside of your unit. That way, you'll know when to replace it. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for replacement.

Anything else I should know?

Some smoke alarms are considered to be "hard wired." This means they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have battery back-up. It's important to test every smoke alarm monthly. And always use new batteries when replacing old ones -- always ensure that you use the appropriate battery.

Smoke Alarm Recalls and Advisories

Courtesy of U.S. Fire Administration


Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are required for every business within the City of Red Bluff. The type, size, and amount of fire extinguishers you will need in you business will be determined by the plans examiner before you can occupy the building.

For homeowners it is highly recommended that you have a fire extinguisher within your home. Preferably in the kitchen were most fires occur. The size of the fire extinguisher is up to the homeowner, however the type is very important. A fire extinguisher for the kitchen should be an ABC type fire extinguisher.

If there is a fire, sound an alarm, get everybody out, call the Fire Department from a safe location. Only try to extinguish small fires. If the fire is too large, get out and close all doors behind you! Fire extinguishers are designed as a First Aid extinguishing system only.

Below are some helpful tips concerning fire extinguishers.

It is important to remember that not every extinguisher works on all fires. Several types can work on two or even three types but no extinguisher will work on every fire. So make certain that you are protected by the correct extinguisher for the types of combustibles in the area.

Combustible materials are divided into four classes:

  • Class "A"– Ordinary Combustibles (wood, paper, cloth, rubber etc.)
  • Class "B"– Flammable Liquids (fuel oil, gasoline, cooking grease, solvents etc.)
  • Class "C"– Energized Electrical Equipment (wiring, fuse box, electrical motors etc.)
  • Class "D"– Combustible Metals (Magnesium, sodium, zirconium etc.)

How to use a Fire Extinguisher:

Before you start make sure that you understand the operating instructions of you extinguisher….

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze or pump the handle.
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the flame.

To help you remember these four actions use the word PASS

Extinguisher Tips:

  1. Always place yourself between the exit and the fire to ensure that you can withdraw if the fire does not go out.
  2. Buy only an extinguisher which has been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the location and operating instructions of the extinguishers that are at your disposal.

Remember:

Never place yourself or others in jeopardy by attempting to extinguish a fire. In the event a small fire cannot be extinguished with the use of a portable fire extinguisher or the smoke presents a hazard to the operator, leave the area. The door to the area should be closed to confine and contain the fire. Activate the Fire Alarm or call 911. Wait outside at a safe distance away from the building for the firefighters to arrive.



Weed Abatement

The following Weed Abatement Standards are designed to assist fire fighting efforts by slowing the spread of fire. They are not designed for City beautification. The RBFD has the final decision in determining whether an area is “safe from the spread of fire” and conforms to the “intent of the code”.

Weeds, grass, or other combustible growth may be abated by mowing, disking, or scraping. If mowed, the combustible growth must be cut and maintained at a height that would not constitute a fire hazard.

ABATEMENT BY OPEN BURNING IS NOT PERMITTED.

REMOVAL OF WEEDS, GRASS, AND COMBUSTIBLE GROWTH

1. All Properties:

(a) Mow or disk space around all buildings 30 feet wide at minimum.

(b) Mow or disk space 50 feet wide minimum completely around the perimeter of the property to the street or sidewalk. Mow or disk 30 feet wide minimum crossbreaks every 50 feet maximum. (property can be completely mowed or disked in lieu of crossbreaking)

(c) Mow or disk space extending 30 feet minimum beyond the foliage of any group of trees.

(d) All rubbish, trash, trimmings, rubble or litter shall be removed from the property.

(e) All woods, fuel, or lumber shall be neatly stacked or removed from the property.

(f) All weeds, grass, or other combustible growth shall be cleared at least 10 feet from around any combustible storage.

(g) Greenbelt, pastures, and environmentally-sensitive areas shall be assessed on an individual basis. Contact the fire department if you believe that this applies to your property.

(h) Mow or disk space may be required to be larger if a potential fire hazard exists.

2. Developers:

(a) Applications may be approved on a case-by-case basis for a burn permit to burn brush due to development of property. Contact the Fire Marshal for details. If approved, burning must take place prior to May 1st, weather permitting.


2014 Weed Abatement Service Providers
Perimeter Control:  
440-0493 / 440-0492
Les Poppleton, Jr:  
529-3689
R&R Small Tractor and Dump Service:  
529-1041
Tractor Dan:  
527-1437
Steve's Tractor & Landscaping:  
385-1783 / 518-0128
Dennis Conner Tractor & Weed
200-1040

Click on the following link for good fire safety tips from www.firewise.org that will reduce the chance of damage to your property from wildfires.


Code Enforcement

The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for enforcement of all local, state, and national safety codes that pertain to life safety. All commercial, industrial, and public buildings are subject to a fire inspections as well as multi-family occupancies such as hotels, motels, apartments, and care facilities. There are several different types of inspection programs that are over seen by the Prevention Division.

Company Inspections – These type of inspections are conducted by the on duty fire crews and they usually consist of commercial, industrial, and public buildings. Each occupancy that falls into this program is inspected once a year. This accomplishes several things, the fire crews become familiar with the occupancies layout and the business owner(s), and reduces the loss of life and property by identifying fire and life safety violations.

Self-Inspections – These types of inspections are for "Business" type occupancies only. A form is sent out to the business owner to complete. The business owner is provided a check list of common violations that are found in this type of occupancy. The business owner is required to return the form within two weeks of receipt. Once the form is completed and returned, the Prevention Officer reviews the form. If no violations are found the inspection is good for one year. When the inspection is up for renewal, the occupancy is inspection by a fire crew. Self-Inspections are only completed every other year so that fire crews do not lose communication with the business owner or find themselves unfamiliar with an occupancy.

Automatic Fire Suppression System Self-Inspections – These types of inspections are monitored by the Prevention Division. Every occupancy that has an Automatic Fire Suppression System is required to inspect their system and fill out a self-inspection every three (3) months. If the system is due for it five (5) year test, a licensed contractor is required to complete the test.

New Construction or Occupancy – The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for conducting the inspections on all new businesses and all construction projects. Once this is accomplished it is then assigned an inspector and inspected on an annual basis.

The California Fire Code and its Standards are adopted every three years. This also includes Article 4 of the California Fire Code which pertains to Permit Fees. The 2010 California Fire Code and its Standards have been adopted.


Plans Review

The Fire Prevention Division conducts all plans review for fire and life safety.  We work hand in hand with the Building Department to ensure all codes are being met.  We review all new construction and remodel plans for all types of construction, except for one/two family residential dwelling.  The Fire Prevention Division also reviews plans of extinguishing systems, hood and duct systems, sprinkler systems, and fire alarm systems.  Water supply and hydrants are also reviewed for compliance to state and local codes.

There is one plans examiner in the Fire Prevention Division.  The goal for plans review is to have a turn-around time of 48 hours.  At times this is not possible due to the size of the project or leave of absence, however everything is done to have the fastest possible turn around time so that the project is not held up.


Investigations 

The Red Bluff Fire Department has fire investigators that are fully trained in determining origin and cause of fire.  The fire crew on duty has the option to investigate small fires with minimal dollar loss or call for an investigator.

The Red Buff Fire Department works aggressively in prosecuting individuals who choose to commit the crime of arson. Working hand in hand with local law enforcement agencies and the California Department of Forestry criminals have been caught and prosecuted. 


Juvenile Fire Setter Program

In 1994, the Fire Prevention Division designed a program to deal with a fast growing trend of juvenile fire setting or fire play. This program continues to be administered by the Fire Prevention Division. The juvenile fire setters can be identified by a number of people:

  • Firefighters who he/she has came in contact with
  • Parents/Family members
  • Police Department
  • School Officials
  • Social Workers
  • Friends

 It has been found that there are four types of fire setters in this area:

1. Curious

  • The majority of these types are between 2 and 9 years of age.
  • It is normal for them to have curiosity with matches or fire in general but they must be taught proper use of fire and how destructive a force it can be.

2. Troubled

  • Generally a child from 2 to teenage years which are crying out for help.
  • Some signs to watch for would be: plays alone, inability to form close relationships, shyness, impulsive fighting with siblings or peers, extreme mood swings, bedwetting, stuttering, hyperactivity, and aggressive behavior.
  • Some of these children express anger by hurting themselves or destroying their own toys.
  • A large majority of these children have problems at school.
  • This could be a response to abuse or neglect.
  • They rarely come from a happy home situation.
  • Setting fires is a way to act out their anger.

3. Delinquent

  • Usually in their early teens with a history of suspicious fires.
  • Usually an act of vandalism for pure enjoyment or destroying property.
  • Targets for their arsons are usually abandoned buildings, open fields or schools.
  • Fires can be large, premeditated and sophisticated.
  • Experts say that these delinquent fire setters have a history of lying, stealing, truancy, and possible substance abuse.

4. Severely Disturbed

  • Very small percentage of fire setters.
  • All ages are represented but all have behavior problems.
  • Most of the severely disturbed fire setters are in mental or correctional institutions.
  • Their treatment process is complicated, lengthy, and expensive with no easy solutions.

The program consists of a meeting with the Juvenile and his/her parents.  The meeting generally takes place in the Fire Prevention Office, after the parents have been advised of the parameters of the program.  The juvenile receives approximately one hour of interviewing and instruction with regards to Fire Safety and the dangers that are involved with setting fires.  After the interview, depending on the age of the fire setter an assignment is given for him/her to write an essay relevant to his or her situation.

If the fire setter is in the age group of 15-18 they are recommended for the Red Bluff Police Department Diversion Program and professional counseling.  In some cases criminal charges are brought against the fire setter.




The City of Red Bluff is an equal opportunity provider.